Four Easy Healthy Salad Recipes
Mouthwatering Salads for Easy Entertaining
Australians love a BBQ and along with meat and seafood treats an Aussie BBQ always features lots of salads... well they do at my house anyway!
I have 3-4 favourites I plan to share with you straight up but this page aims to be a work in progress because there is nothing I like more than trying out new salad ideas.... and hopefully when they work sharing them here.
For me the key to a great salad is really high quality, fresh ingredients. Using vine ripened tomatoes, the best feta you can afford and sprinkles of special bits like pine nuts and Spanish chorizo can make a good salad memorable.
Let me know your favourite salads too in the guestbook below.
Risoni and Persian Feta Salad
This is my most requested salad... the one everyone always wants me to bring to a party. It's great because as long as you have the first 3 ingredients the rest is pretty much mix and match. Good quality Persian feta is used like a dressing and is the key to the dish.
I packet risoni pasta (or Orzo)
175 grams of marinated Persian feta cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil (or the marinade from the feta which I prefer)
3 spring onions finely chopped / or 1/2 bunch chives
3 Chorizo sausages cut into thin slices
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes cut in halves
1-2 cups of broad beans (I use frozen ones) or 1 large zucchini sliced
Cook pasta until just al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water and cool in the refrigerator until ready to mix. You can do this up to one day ahead if you prefer.
Blanch and peal the broad beans if using.
Fry chorizo until golden brown, remove and set aside to cool. In the same pan fry the zucchini until just brown, but don't let it get too soft.
Both the chorizo and the zucchini, if using can be cut into smaller pieces to make it spread further through the pasta. Mix all ingredients through the pasta and stir well. Leave to let flavours spread into the pasta.
Spicy Duck Salad
This looks impressive and is so easy to make.
1 whole Chinese bbq duck meat only (remove skin) and shred
Â½ red onion
1-cup mint leaves
1-cup Thai basil (or common basil) leaves
1-cup coriander leaves (can omit and replace with more mint/basil)
2 long red chillies seeds removed and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 small red chilli (seeds removed and lightly chopped)
2 coriander roots scraped (I left this out once and it was still ok)
Â¼ cup (55g) soft brown sugar
Â¼ cup (60ml) limejuice
Â¼ cup (60ml) fish sauce
Combine all salad ingredients
For the dressing place the garlic, chilli, coriander root and 1 tsp sea salt in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. Add sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and stir to combine. Alternatively process all in a food processor or blender till smooth.
Pour over salad and toss.
Paper thin slicing fast and easy.. with one of these mandolins is the only way! You can slice onions so quickly your eyes don't have time to water!
Thai Chicken Salad
2-3 chicken breast fillets (500g)
1/3 small Chinese cabbage (125g), shredded finely
1 medium carrot (100g), grated finely
4 green onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted or dried fried Asian noodles
1/3 cup (80ml) peanut oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Poach chicken covered in boiling water in small fry-pan. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain chicken, stand for 10 minutes, chop finely.
Then combine chicken in large bowl with cabbage, carrot, onion, sesame seeds and dressing.
Do not mix salad with dressing until a short time before serving to keep the salad crisp. The addition of some crunchy Asian noodles can be nice too.
Mezzaluna - the ultimate tool for fine chopping
I did not realise how amazing these things were until a friend got me one for Christmas one year.
There are many different mezzaluna on the market but this one is great because the cover protects your hand from being cut when it's not in use.
Sweet Potato Salad
Sweet Potato, Tomato and Baby Spinach Salad
Healthy and colorful
2 sweet potatoes cubed
2 table spoons olive oil (or a good spray of olive oil spray)
4-5 egg shaped tomatoes
1 teaspoon caster sugar
500gm baby spinach leaves (you can substitute any baby greens)
1 red onion
100gm pine nuts (toasted)
250 grams feta cheese (any style you like)
Roast the sweet potato in the oven until crisp and browned on the edges - drain and leave to cool to room temperature. You can do this the night before if you wish and refrigerate.
Cut the egg tomatoes in half and make a small v at the top where the core is. This will help the tomato to cook flat. Place the tomatoes in a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and sugar. The sugar helps the tomatoes Cook until brown and collapsed.
Toast pine nuts lightly in oven or fry pan - they take just a few minutes so don't walk away from the oven!
Layer a platter with the spinach or salad leaves and then each of the other ingredients in turn.
I love my salad spinner, it saves time having to dry to leaves and prevents soggy salads. It's so important to wash greens these days with all the pesticides in use and many of us can't be bothered but when you have a spinner it is just so quick.
Mortar and Pestle
Nothing beats freshly ground herbs and spices. Having a mortar and pestle makes the job so easy you will be keen to do it.
I prefer granite or marble than the stainless steel models.
Find Salad Recipes Online
- Taste.com.au - free online Salad recipes
Taste.com.au is the best Aussie recipe site in my opinion. The site is well worth some time exploring but don't blame me if you get hooked!
- Aussie MSN recipe finder
This site has lots of recipes for the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks and magazine
Fairfax publications website - more recipes for you to try
- Exclusively food blog
Haloumi and Avocado salad that is simply yummy and a great blog to read too
I never have enough salad servers in my house at BBQ time
A great idea when you have a buffet.. one hand holding your plate makes it much easier to serve salad using tongs instead of salad servers.
These are great for BBQs when no one seems to have a spare hand.